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Africa Forest Elephants

Africa Forest Elephants

%name Africa Forest Elephants

Africa Forest Elephants May Take Almost a Century to Recover from Poaching – Report

Africa’s rare forest elephants which play a key role in replenishing the central African rain forests will need almost a century to recover from an onslaught by ivory poachers because of their slow birth rate, a study published on Wednesday said.

The study by the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society is the first analysis of the demography of an elusive animal that is hard to track because of its remote wooded surrounds.

But the thickly-forested tropical range it inhabits has not deterred poachers, who reduced its population by a staggering 65 percent between 2002 and 2013 to meet red-hot demand for ivory in China and other fast-growing Asian economies.

“In the intervening time we are down significantly from that 100,000 – it could be as low as 70,000 now,” Peter Wrege of Cornell University, one of the study’s authors, told Reuters.

“To come back to the population it was before 2002, based on their natality rates, it could take nearly a century to recover,” Wrege said.

Much more is at stake than the fate one animal’s population: forest elephants are regarded by biologists as a “keystone species” playing a crucial role in the robustness of central Africa’s wooded ecosytems, the study, published in the Journal of Applied Ecology, said.

Plant species depend on elephants to disperse their seeds in their excrement – big animals travel widely, eat a lot, and produce vast amounts of dung. The gaps that their bulk and diet create in thick vegetation also provide smaller creatures with pathways.

“The structure of the forests would change if they did not have the elephants doing this dispersal,” Wrege said.

The health of the central African rainforests has global consequences as they are the planet’s second largest carbon sequestration zone – which means they soak up carbon, slowing climate change.

“Forest elephants are experiencing the greatest levels of poaching in Africa with potentially as much as 10 to 18 percentof the population killed per year,” the study said.

One of two species of African elephant – the other is the more numerous and larger Savannah elephant – the forest dwellers can hardly sustain this kind of lethal pressure because few other mammals reproduce so slowly.

The study found females begin giving birth when they are around 23, about a decade later than their Savannah counterparts. And female forest elephants only produce a calf every five or six years, compared to the three- to four-year interval of their Savannah kin.

Some of the worst poaching is taking place in forest-elephant range states such as Central African Republic and Democratic Republic of Congo – poor countries that suffer from bad governance and conflict.

The findings come ahead of a major United Nations’ meeting in Johannesburg at the end of September where Zimbabwe and Namibia will push for permission to sell ivory stocks, a move opposed by many other African countries.

Those seeking to open up the ivory trade argue it will raise badly-needed funds for conservation, but others say it would provide cover to poachers and make products that threaten species such as forest elephants socially acceptable.

Overall, the illicit killing of elephants in Africa is believed to have declined from a peak of 30,000 in 2011 but remains far too high, according to a recent report.

East African Countries

East African Countries

Five nations comprise the East African Community (EAC): Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia which are collectively known as The Horn of Africa is also typically considered part of East Africa. Comoros, Mauritius and Seychelles are small island nations in the Indian Ocean while Mozambique and Madagascar are often considered part of Southern Africa. Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe – often also included in Southern Africa, and formerly of the Central African Federation.

The region offers some of the world’s most exciting outdoor tourism. Most countries in the region were colonized by United Kingdom, Germany, Portugal, Belgium and France

Climate in this part of the continent is unusually cool and dry for an equatorial region, due to its mountainous configuration and westerly monsoon effects. The world’s third highest ‘Mount Kilimanjaro’ is situated in this East African and over 20,000 visitors reach its summit each year. Also, the largest river in the world, the Nile, runs through East Africa. Its source, Lake Victoria, is the world’s largest tropical lake. Lake Tanganyika, the world’s second deepest, is the source of the Congo river system. The lakes, rivers and tributaries of East Africa are among the world’s best for all forms of swimming, scuba and whitewater activity.

East Africa is also home to amazing concentrations of large wild animals, most famously the great ape, elephant, lion, rhinoceros, and wildebeest. All types of corporate and independent guided tours through the outdoor beauty are available. In this article will take you through some of the things you need to know about the history, economy and politics of the following East African countries. Sit down, relax and enjoy this piece!

South Sudan

South Sudan gained its independence from Sudan in 2011 and Its current capital is Juba, which is also its largest city. South Sudan is notable for having a varied geology. Part of the country lies in the region of the Sahara Desert, but the Nile River flows through the middle section of the country. Due to this, the nation is vulnerable to floods whenever there is a torrential rainfall. Couple of months ago, thousands of people fled their homes, houses were destroyed and more than hundred people died.

In recent years, Sudan had been marred with political violence as a result a conflict between President Salva Kirr and his Vice which led to the death of thousands of its citizens. During this political violence, UN report had it that, Sudan were recruiting child soldiers; which now raised a question if the country’s civil war is back?. But, South Sudan government refuted the claim and later agreed with the UN for new international peacekeeping force to come in and save the nation from going into another era of civil war.

Ethiopia

Ethiopia is one of the countries known as “the horn of Africa”. Legend has it that the Ark of the Covenant has been secreted away in a tiny Ethiopian village for centuries. The most striking geological element in the country is its division by the Great Rift Valley. This fissure was caused by volcanic lava deep within the canyons and gorges. Ethiopia is also blanketed by thick jungle, and is home to many rivers and lakes. Its capital, Adida Ababa, is among the most beautiful cities in Africa. Recently, Ethiopia became Africa’s largest producer of coffee which had led its to be among the top 15 fastest growing economies in Africa with a GDP growth of 4.5 percent. The first East African plant by South Korea’s Kia Motors Corp will be on Ethiopia soil with a mega deal signed with a local company to start assembling cars.

 
Eritrea

This small country has a very varied terrain. The interior of Eritrea is dominated by the Ethiopian Highlands that rise over 7,000 feet. Within these highlands can be found scattered rivers and streams. The coastal region of the country is bordered by the Red Sea and is actually semiarid in climatic conditions.

Kenya

One of the most well-known countries of East Africa is Kenya with coastline on the Indian Ocean. There are lowlands in both the northern and coastal regions of the country. Down south Kenya becomes flat and very dry. The Rift Valley also slices through Kenya, having created lakes as well as volcanic peaks rising to 17,000 feet. Kenya is east African biggest economy and its also among top 10 investment destination in Africa. September 2016, Kenya signed a business deal with Volkswagen South Africa to assemble cars in the country. And with the way its economy is fast growing, Kenya’s vision could transformed the country into a middle-income economy by 2030. With the recent visit of Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, it shows that Kenyan developers are the best in East Africa. Kenya is also ranked among the most friendly African countries for expatriates In 2016. Lupita Nyong’o, Oscar-award winning actress who took Hollywood by storm is a Kenyan and she is doing this great continent proud.

Uganda

The highlight of any visit to Uganda will take you to the southeastern corner, where you will find Lake Victoria. The land is very mountainous otherwise, with elevations between 3,000 and 6,000 feet quite common. Mountains reaching over 16,000 feet run alongside the western border, while to the east you’ll find Mt. Elgon, which is an impressive 14,000 feet. Uganda is also among the most friendly African countries for expatriates in 2016 and its occupies 25th position globally.

Just like Lupita Nyong’o from Kenya, Florence Kasumba, German actress of Ugandan origin, also took Hollywood by storm early this year after she appeared in the most popular film “Captain America: Civil War”. Arguably, Uganda president, Yoweri Museveni is currently the best president in East Africa with his leadership quality and excellent work since 30 years that he had been in power.

This came with the backing of former vice president, Prof Gilbert Balibaseka Bukenya, asking the country’s parliament to enact a law that will enable President Museveni to rule for life. In terms of economy, Uganda will become the first East African Country to open a gold refinery by the end of 2016 after signing a deal with a Belgian investor. Also, its government recently reduced single entry visa to boost tourism and i think that’s a great move from the path of the government and it’s a good news for tourists that are willing to travel to the country. Uganda is also among the East African countries who offer free public WiFi services to its citizens.

Seychelles

The Seychelles is actually an archipelago that is made up of roughly 90 small islands within the Indian Ocean. The Mahe group of islands are rocky with interior mountains. The Coralline islands are coral and inhospitable. The climate of the Seychelles is warm and wet.

Burundi

Burundi is mainly a country of plateaus. The Great Rift Valley has done its work here as well, creating peaks that rise 7,000 feet as well as having a hand in the shaping of long and narrow Lake Tanganyika. The high elevation of Burundi helps to moderate the otherwise tropical climate.

Prove That Kenya Is A Beautiful Country

 That Prove That Kenya Is A Beautiful Country

Here are the 20 fascinating places that prove that Kenya is a beautiful country:

1. Diani Beach

One of the world’s most beautiful beaches, Diani Beach is located on the Indian Ocean coast of Kenya. Diani Beach is an ideal getaway at its finest. The beach offers visitors plenty activities to enjoy or you can spend your time admiring the scenery it offers. The view is breath-taking!

2. Mida Creek

Photo Source: Airbnb

Mida Creek is located on the Malindi-Watamu coastline; it’s a massive tidal inlet of sand, lined with mangrove forest. The creek offers several exciting activities such as fishing, birdwatching, boat trips, mangrove walks and many more. In fact, a day is not enough to do and see all that is on offer in this scenic part of Kenya.

3. Kisumu Impala Sanctuary

Photo Source: Kenya.com

Kisumu Impala Sanctuary is a located 3 Km from Kisumu City. The Sanctuary lies on the shores of Lake Victoria. There are quite a lot of things to enliven and thrill nature-lovers here; besides, if you love wildlife, you will appreciate the both the free ranging and captive animals in the sanctuary. Apart from that, Kisumu Impala Sanctuary is a well-preserved natural beauty, a fascinating place to be!

4. Mahali Mzuri

Photo Source: Atta.travel

Mahali Mzuri is an authentic luxury camp, located in a surrounding packed with amazing wildlife, scenic landscape and great ambience.  Just in case you don’t know, Mahli Mzuriis Sir Richard Branson’s Kenyan Safari Camp, located within Maasai Mara Environs.  The camp boasts a lot of outdoor activities and a vibrant wildlife scene.

5. Masai Mara National Reserve

This is the best place to get close to the wild! If you want to see wildlife up-close and personal, Masaai Mara is a great safari destination for that. The National Reserve is teeming with the ‘big 5′ and other amazing animal species. Nature, wonderful wildlife and picturesque landscape can all be found here. Its natural beauty keeps guests returning every year.

6. Lamu Island

Photo Source: Terri O’Sullivan on Flickr

While Lamu Island entices many tourists and local visitors, the main attractions here are the natural beauty the island exhibits and its calm atmosphere. From Lamu’s history and culture to its scenic beaches, you’ll be in awe of what this island has to offer.

7. Chyulu Hills

Photo Source: Peter Steward on Flickr

To experience some of the most inspiring views Kenya has to offer, head to Chyulu Hills.Chyulu Hills is located in Eastern Kenya, a mountain range that forms a 100Km long volcanic field. This destination is one of the prettiest places in Kenya, seeing the enchanted land of black frozen lava speckled with flaring poker trees is really something special.

8. Great Rift Valley

The Great Rift Valley is the top tourist attraction in Kenya. It’s a beauty to behold! Here, you will find some of the largest, deepest and oldest lakes in the world. The valley also hosts some volcanic mountains. The valley offers stunning views and you will surely see many photo-worthy panoramas.

9. Mount Kenya

Mount Kenya is one of the most famous mountains in the world. It is the highest mountain in Kenya and second-highest in Africa. It is about 5199 metres above sea level. The mountain has beautiful snow-capped peaks that make it stand out and very attractive.  If you love adventurous climbing and trekking, this is the best destination to explore.

10. Kapsowar

Photo Source: Hublog

Kapsower is a beautiful small town located in Rift Valley Province, Kenya. It’s a picture-perfect town; filled with quaint charm, crisp breeze and amazing scenic beauty. It’s one of the best places to explore the most breathtaking landscapes and unique attractions such as charming flowing rivers, herds of cows and gorgeous hills.

11. Uhuru Gardens

Uhuru Gardens is a fascinating urban haven located in Nairobi. Beautiful lanscape and architecture, lush plantations and relaxing atmosphere are the defining elements of Uhuru garden.

12. Shanzu Beach

Shanzu Beach is located on the Indian Ocean in Mombasa, an ideal place for an unforgettable coast adventure. The beach is known for its beautiful shores, spectacular views, towering palm trees, and pristine white sands. There are several accommodation located next to the beach. Great place to spend a memorable vacation!

13. Meru National Park

Meru National Park is located 350km from Nairobi, east of Meru. The Mational park is one of the most popular and beautiful parks in Kenya. It is home to several animal species such as Leopard, Elephant, Hippopotamus, Cheetah and many others. The park offers a authentic wilderness atmosphere, scenic landscapes and amazing wildlife.

14. Giraffe Manor

Giraffe Manor offers a unique experience when it comes to luxury accommodation. The Manor is one of the best places to see beautiful and graceful creatures such as Giraffes in Kenya. The Manor is home to Rothschild Giraffes, which are seen roaming around the surroundings. It’s such a beautiful experience!

15. Ol Pejeta Conservancy

Photo Source: Safaribookings

The vast Conservancy lures visitors from around the country in search of unforgettable adventures. The Ol Pejeta Conservancy is located in Nanyuki, between the foothills of Mount Kenya and the Aberdares. The conservancy is home to the ‘Big Five’ and offers a scenic landscape, wildlife ambiance an exciting experience.

16. Rolf’s Place

Rolfs Place’s opportunities for exciting adventure are enough to thrill any visitor. It’s a leopard cliff Mansion built like a medieval fortress, located just 25 minutes from Nairobi.Rolf’s Place offers a panoramic view of Mount Kenya, Mount Kilimanjaro and Ngong Hills. It also has some neighbouring parks that offer visitor opportunities to experience wildlife.

17. Lake Nakuru

Lake Nakuru is one of the most beautiful lakes in Kenya. The lake is located in Lake Nakuru National Park and lies in the Rift Valley of Kenya. The lake is renowned as a location of the beautiful bird species – loads of fuchsia pink flamingoes.

18. The Coral Gardens of Wasini

Photo Source: Footprintstours

The Wasini Coral Gardens, located in Wasini Island, about 100 km south of Mombasa. The garden is a surrounded by mangrove forest, beautiful landscape and offers amazing views.  It offers several activities that will give you a unique experience.

19. Hell’s Gate National Park

Hell’s Gate National Park is located North West of Nairobi. The park is home to a wide variety of wildlife, bird species. Hell’s Gate National Park has exciting attractions and activities such as Hot Springs, The Olkaria Geothermal Station, The Mervym Carnelley Raptor Hide, Fisher’s Tower and many others.

20. The Aberdares

Photo Source: Safarilanga

The Aberdares’ beauty is not something we can ignore. The 160km long mountain range of plateau offers some of the best mountain views in the country. The Aberdare range is a beautiful place and its full of wonder.

Is there any fascinating places in Africa you would like us to know about? Share your experience with us – info@natureboundafrica.com

Africa Luxurious Safari Lodges

Africa Luxurious Safari Lodges

1. Angama Mara, Kenya

If the epic views from Angama Mara provoke a sense of déjà vu, it might be because you have seen them before on the silver screen. Taking its name from the Swahili for “suspended in mid-air”, the mesmerising vista of the remote Mara Triangle is the same as the one depicted in the 1985 film Out of Africa starring Robert Redford and Meryl Streep. This new camp, which opened last year on the edge of the Rift Valley Escarpment, is the culmination of the work of safari lodge veterans Nicky and Steve Fitzgerald, who have many years of African hospitality between them. There are two camps of 15 tents created by one of the continent’s finest tent-makers with a contemporary, minimalist chic look that incorporates 33ft-wide, floor-to-ceiling windows. The lodge is also committed to the local community; among other features, there is an in-house artisan workshop where Maasai women create beaded jewellery.

Angama Mara, Maasai Mara, Kenya . Doubles from $825 (£570) per person, full-board.

%name Africa Luxurious Safari Lodges
 

2. Ruckomechi Camp, Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe is back on the safari map. Peeping out from the shade of acacia and mahogany trees, right on the banks of the Zambezi river, the 10 rooms of Wilderness Safaris’ Ruckomechi Camp reopen later this month with a new look. It is set in the Mana Pools National Park; this part of the country is known for its large numbers of elephant, buffalo, hippo and eland, which can be seen on wildlife drives, walks or afternoon boat trips on the river. In July a new, smaller satellite camp, Little Ruckomechi, will open further downstream, with just three tented rooms.

Ruckomechi Camp, Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe. Doubles from $702 per person, full board.

%name Africa Luxurious Safari Lodges
 

3. Makanyi Lodge, South Africa

One of the newest arrivals on South Africa’s safari scene is this seven-suite lodge in the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve on the edge of the country’s vast Kruger Park. The Big Five – lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo – proliferate here and there are game drives as well as bush walks, birdwatching, painting, guided stargazing and photographic safaris. Each of the rooms is designed in rustic yet slick safari style with a main lodge and an infinity pool, which proves the ideal place to lounge after a dusty drive.

ALSO READ  World’s Top 10 Countries That Save The Most (3 Countries from Africa make the top 10)

Makanyi Private Game Lodge, Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, Kruger Park, South Africa. Doubles from R8,000 per person, full board including game drives.  

 
%name Africa Luxurious Safari Lodges
 

4. Limalimo Lodge, Ethiopia

The jagged, gasp-worthy peaks of Ethiopia’s Unesco-listed Simien Mountains National Park are one of the country’s natural highlights. So too are the large colonies of Gelada monkey that populate it. Opened in January, the Limalimo Lodge is its newest place to stay, with just 12 guestrooms constructed in the vernacular style using rammed earth, wood and thatch. Guests can spend their days exploring the vastness of the surrounding landscape with its walia ibex, leopards and Ethiopian wolves.

Limalimo Lodge, Simien Mountains National Park, Debark, North Gondar, Ethiopia. Doubles from $200, full-board.

%name Africa Luxurious Safari Lodges
 

5. The Highlands, Tanzania

Tanzania’s Unesco World Heritage-listed Ngorongoro Crater is one of the most spectacular and richest wildlife spotting areas on the continent. Both the Big Five and countless other species live and visit this vast caldera that formed two to three million years ago.To escape the crowds fully, check into Asilia Africa’s newest camp, the appropriately named The Highlands, set on the slope of the Olmoti volcano. When it opens on 5 June – in good time for the spectacular annual wildebeest migration between July and October – it will become the highest of all the camps fringing Ngorongoro. There will be just eight futuristic looking, luxuriously decked-out domed canvas tents. You can be down on the crater floor for dawn safaris, enjoy bush picnics and just revel in the isolated tranquillity of the setting, when the sun begins to set over the African wilderness.

%name Africa Luxurious Safari Lodges
 The Highlands, Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania. Doubles from $710 per person, full-board

Uganda Implements Online e-Visa

Uganda Implements Online e-Visa

Uganda Implements Online e-Visa & cuts single entry visa fee in half to $50
Nature Bound Africa would like to notify their valued clients and trade partners that Uganda has Implemented Online e-Visa & cuts single entry visa fee in half $50. Guests wishing to visit Uganda must now apply for their visas online by following the link – https://www.visas.immigration.go.ug/
Step 1: Choose the type of visa

Ordinary” (single entry) and East Africa Tourist Visa (valid for travel between Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda) are the most common.

Step 2: Upload clear document copies of current passport

Upload clear document copies of  current passport, yellow fever certificate and a passport photo. For an East Africa Tourist visa, a travel itinerary and proof of return ticket must also be submitted.

Step 3: Submit your online application form

Once the online application form is completed and submitted, the applicant will receive a bar-coded email notification of approval. This can take 3 or more days. Once received, this bar-coded email should be printed and brought to Uganda for presentation upon arrival.

Step 5: Arrival at entry points / Boarder

Upon arrival at any border (entry point), the bar-coded email along with passport and original yellow fever certificate must be presented. The Immigration officer will scan the barcode, take fingerprints and a photograph and collect the $50 visa fee ($USD cash only, in excellent condition and dated 2006 or later). The visa will be printed and pasted into the passport.

NOTE:

The online system and obtaining visas on arrival are working CONCURRENTLY. Visas will be available on arrival until July 31, 2016. After this date, all visas must be obtained online using the E-Visa system. [Update July 27: While it has widely been reported that visas will be available on arrival only until July 31, 2016.

Nature Bound Africa, have confirmed with the Ministry of Internal Affairs that the online system & visas on arrival will work concurrently until further notice, until the E-Visa system is working flawlessly. However, we recommend your guests utilize the E-Visa system moving forward to be safe].

Here is the official statement from Uganda Immigration regarding the $50 single entry visa fee:
 
Press2BStatement2BImmigration Uganda Implements Online e Visa

Visiting Uganda  for business or Pleasure has never been easier. Home to the source of the world’s longest river (river Nile), the world’s remaining Mountain Gorillas, vast and diverse natural wild life reserves; Blessed with tropical, all year round summer weather, a diverse cultural heritage of over 50 local tribes, snow caped mountains, natural water rafting spots, vibrant night life. A wealth of unexploited natural resources and a young educated population.

Choose Uganda The Pearl of Africa as your next holiday destination and experience true African hospitality.

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